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Xanth: The Quest for Magic

(Xanth #1-3)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  5,193 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Twenty-five years ago, Piers Anthony fascinated us with the creation of Xanth–a wondrous land where magic rules supreme. Since then, the dazzling world of Xanth has delighted millions of readers. Now, here are the first three novels of this classic series to enthrall a whole new generation. . . .

Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel of the
Paperback, 784 pages
Published October 29th 2002 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 1979)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  5,193 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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This book contains the first 3 books of the Xanth series. I enjoyed the first two stories the best. The last book, Castle Roogna, with Dor as the main character bothered me. He was way too innocent for someone pretty curious about what Anthony refers to as the adult conspiracy. He stayed way too innocent until suddenly he knew a lot about it. Anthony can write great characters....Bink, Dor's Dad and the main character in the first two books, was a believable character. But I don't get the feelin ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED this book!! This book is what made me fall in love with Piers Anthony. Unfortunately, lost "custody" of my treasured hardback copy and have yet to find another :-(
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dad-s-library
I wrote an individual review for the 1st two stories, so I'll just focus on the overall book and 3rd story...
I pulled this collection from the mountain of books left to me after my dad died, and read it specifically in order to remember my dad...
For that purpose, it was an excellent choice - a fun easy read that reminded me of some of my earliest memories of my dad, as that is unlikely to help other people decide to read this book, I'll move on...
The stories are light and straight forward, they
Zinz Vandermeer
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-teen-stuff
Xanth was a world I felt an immediate affinity for. The creative application of puns into a fantasy setting was one of the greatest finds a young girl could stumble upon.

Out of the three stories in the collection Castle Roogna was the first Xanth novel I ever read, and the one that sent me spinning into his world. The concept of the Adult Conspiracy was both mysterious and fascinating. As I got older and more mature I appreciated different aspects of the novels. I liked that Xanth was a world wi
Nicholas Lizardi
Sep 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
I truly loved how Anthony created an entire world. He created an elaborate world with magic and characters. The setting was dynamic and descriptive. He helped me to see some more creative means to writing. And appreciate those writers who can create an entire world separate from reality. The way he combines his unique world with exciting action packed writing showed me how to write stories which were more action inclined.
MB Taylor
The first three Xanth books are the best, and the first, A Spell for Chameleon is excellent. Unfortunately, IMO, the series went downhill from there (Vale of the Vole is the last one I read). ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
These are for young adult maybe younger and adults wanting a quick escape. They are fun, fast and full of puns As I recall, there is some adult themes, but PG. I stopped reading the series at I think Crewel Lye. Anthoney did over 20! Eek.
IF you or anyone you know have learning disabilites (like the author) you will enjoy the beginnings of Castle Roogna. Hint: he has to write an essay and has a little trouble.....
Shannon Vyff
Mar 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read all the Xanth series as a pre-teen, early teen (all hundred? ;-) ). I loved the puns, and the bantering between characters that would probably make me groan today. I rated it as 4 stars for kids :-), so many adventures--so many hours away from ones 'regular life'.
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
These books were a constant fixture of my late childhood. I read and reread them, usually finding a joke or pun that I hadn't understood previously now made clear. A must-read as far as I'm concerned.
Gregory Selgrath
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this when I was probably 13 or 14 and it was a great young adult fantasy. It is a creative use of idiosyncrasies in the English language to create a whole world of comedic adventure. I recommend the series to anyone just discovering the world of fantasy.
Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, funny, intriguing fantasy!
Spike Spikey
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although many would make a face at these books as being for children I probably would still enjoy them at the age of 36. (but I'm no weirdo who read the whole series)
Linda Nelson
This was another favorite of mine. I read this series back in the '80's. I love the puns Piers Anthony used in the story. It was not only an enjoyable fantasy to read, but it was funny and witty.
Aug 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Read the first 10 or so of these when I was in junior high; loved these books - wonder if they would hold up now, 25 years later? I bet I'd still enjoy reading them.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-may, 2012, fantasy
I finished the first book, now I need to read the other two. And now all books are read.
Annie Rose
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the very first Piers Anthony book, 3 in 1 book that leads me to be looking all Xanth books in every bookstore here in our place. How I wish I could compile every book of the series..
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it
* - failed to finish it
** -finished it, but it was a struggle
*** -perfectly readable
**** -enjoyable read
***** -very enjoyable, would (or have) read multiple times
Lorie Meacham
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Total escape! A wonderful book to introduce young teens to the world of fantasy!
Linda Lassman
I hated these books. I didn't not rate them; I rated them 0 stars. Anthony's books are so filled with misogyny that they make me sick to read them. In these books, women are objects, are not to be trusted. They are stupid, beautiful sluts, reasonably attractive but only moderately intelligent and boring, or brilliant, bad-tempered creatures too hideous to be around others (read "men"). Rape and sexual violence is commonplace and no big deal; there is no such thing as "consent" because women real ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was made a little more OK with this unpublished draft due to the one character being named "Bink" (my surname is "Binkley"), so I heard something close to my name regularly throughout the book.

The name Sabrina, of course, makes one think of the hit series Sabrina the Teenage Witch that my sister and I were so obsessed with throughout our youth. We watched the TV series. I didn't know there was an Archie comic series. The Wikipedia article reveals that it went from 96 through 03.

In this book, t
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Piers Anthony's writing is misogyny at its finest. The story itself is ok, there are some clever pieces, but over all some very disturbing themes. Not a huge fan. I won't be reading any more of his stuff.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a rather simple tale with a surprisingly subtle treatment of power and value.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love this series. Jumper is my hero!!
Dayna Smith
The first three novels of the classic Xanth series. Very enjoyable.
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I disliked this series, and I remember when it "arrived" and a lot of people liked it. I have liked a couple of Anthony's books but I can't say I'm anything like a fan. If you like this, enjoy. It's not "to my taste" as they say.

I kept the book on my shelf for a very long time occasionally going back, but never getting involved. I know a lot of people who snatched up everything "Xanth" as soon as it appeared, but it just never appealed to me. Instead of whimsy I find in the humor silliness, the
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction
Recommended to Armis by: I honestly don't remember, it's been so long ago
I love the Xanth series, it is funny and engaging and a fine journey to take! The puns are funny and smart and never regrettable and the characters range from endearing to irritating to entertaining and even frightening at moments, but I'd say, all in all, a wonderful read for young adults on up!
Jun 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
I grew up with Xanth, and at the time I loved it. But the books haven't aged well, and in revisiting them I found very little to hold my interest.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Using the compilation form as there are too many to list individually. remember reading and rereading these as child during the summer.
Jay Phillippi
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
A long time favorite that comes up short in my latest reading. The writing is fine, the characters retain their charm as does the word play that is at the core of the Xanth stories. The problem is that there's a rather bothersome strain of sexism that runs throughout. There is not a single female character who is capable and independent. The closest is Cherie Centaur, but all of her energy is aimed at her husband and child. Given the tongue nature of the books, it might have been cute for a sing ...more
Andrew Vandenberg
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked fantasy lit when I was a kid in the 80s, and I had always heard of Piers Anthony, but never read anything of his until now. It's not that great, is it?
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Though he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.

Piers is a self-proclaimed environm

Other books in the series

Xanth (1 - 10 of 43 books)
  • A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, #1)
  • The Source of Magic (Xanth, #2)
  • Castle Roogna (Xanth, #3)
  • Centaur Aisle (Xanth, #4)
  • Ogre, Ogre (Xanth #5)
  • Night Mare (Xanth, #6)
  • Dragon on a Pedestal (Xanth, #7)
  • Crewel Lye: A Caustic Yarn (Xanth #8)
  • Golem in the Gears (Xanth, #9)
  • Vale of the Vole (Xanth #10)

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